I sat down a few minutes ago to play through a few songs on the piano. I enjoy just sitting down and playing through old hymnals. The last song I played was one that John Piper quoted in his T4G message this year. The second verse will still not get out of my head…it is a very haunting thought.
Well, I came to check my e-mail and my GoogleReader, only to find a blogpost that fits very well with those words I’ve been pondering.
Ray Ortlund just posted this today:
“Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3
Timothy was Paul’s son in the Lord. Paul called him “my child” (2 Timothy 2:1). How did this spiritual father raise his fine young son? Not for ease, but for hardship. And Timothy was ready to face the future, come what may.
Paul looked his beloved child right in the eyes and said, “This world is mobilized in total war against the Lord Jesus. Look around you. You see the brutality everywhere. This is why. But our Savior is committed to an all-out campaign of liberation, and we are in his army now. He will deploy you in battle. You will suffer. Don’t run from it. Accept it. When this war is finally over and we all go home, we will live on with no regrets. We will live forever with the satisfaction of having fought in the greatest conflict in the universe, and we didn’t turn tail and run. We followed orders and pleased our Commander (2 Timothy 2:4). He will be so pleased to pin those medals on your chest. He will be so pleased to toast you at his victory banquet. Think about it, son.”
On this Father’s Day, may all Christian fathers say to their sons and daughters the things that must be said, to raise up the next generation of steady, rugged, joyful soldiers for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here is the song I played.
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?
Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.
Thy saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faith’s discerning eye.
When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
The glory shall be Thine.
(You can hear the song here).